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College enrolment up for third year in a row

Enrolment is booming at Douglas College.

Enrolment is booming at Douglas College.

More than 11,000 students - up approximately six per cent from last year and almost 17 per cent from 2009 - are expected to walk through the doors of the New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses for the start of classes this week, said Dave Taylor, the college's director of marketing and communications, in a press release.

"The growing popularity of Douglas doesn't come as a surprise," Douglas College president Scott McAlpine said in the release. "More and more people are choosing Douglas based on the strength of our academic and career-based programs, and the quality of our teaching."

Taylor couldn't say for sure how many of those students attend classes in New Westminster because many students take class at both campuses.

"However, I can say that it's generally a 65/35 split. So we're looking at about 7,000 students in New Westminster and about 4,000 students in Coquitlam," he wrote in an email to The Record.

The number of international students is also up by 10 per cent with 1,100 students. The number of international students enrolled at Douglas has more than doubled since 2007, the release said.

Record enrolments have the New Westminster campus bursting at the seams, the release states. To accommodate Douglas's expanding student body and to make room for even more students in the future, Douglas began relocating its faculty of child, family and community studies to the Coquitlam campus last year. Next fall, when the relocation is complete, the Coquitlam campus will have grown by more than 850 students.

Douglas is also expanding its offerings to give students more choice. Beginning this fall, students can take postdegree programs in sales and accounting. In May, in partnership with Capilano University, Langara College and Vancouver Community College, Douglas began offering a bachelor of performing arts degree for students and working professionals with a significant background in the arts.

"Our new offerings underscore the changing educational needs of today's students," McAlpine said in the release. "Getting an education is no longer something you do once in your life. As more and more people return to school to upgrade their skills and knowledge, education is becoming a lifelong process."

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